London is the Land of Opportunity for Venture Capital Lawyers: Here’s Why!

Written By:
Jonathan Taylor
London Director
VC activity in London has grown continuously over the past decade, from just 91 deals in 2011 to 569 in 2021.

Then despite —or maybe because of—the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw an increase in interest from US Venture Capital firms. There was particularly strong growth in London venture capital investment between 2020 and 2021, with a 24% rise in deal numbers.

In 2022, with technology developing at an increasingly fast pace, Venture Capital and Corporate Technology lawyers have been extremely busy aiding start-ups in the City of London. The entrepreneurial spirit has never been more alive; changes in consumer behaviour and operational processes have given people the confidence to take a chance and start an innovative company – with a vast proportion having a lot of earning potential in a post-covid world. 

Market Trends

US Investment

In 2019, London received more Fintech VC funding from US investors than New York and any other tech hub in Europe, second only to Silicon Valley. As London continues to produce unicorn companies, we have seen increasing momentum in this space. In the first week of 2022 alone, US venture capital firms raised $12.8 billion across 15 funds. 

“Investors showing their confidence in London’s fintech offering reinforces our city’s position as a leading global hub for this important and growing industry,” Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, says in a statement. “Despite the impact of Brexit and the pandemic, we’ve seen record levels of funding for fintech businesses in the first six months of the year.”

With even more US investors looking to London for value and as US tech and emerging companies expand into the UK and Europe, the recruitment market for talented Private Equity and Venture Capital lawyers continues to pick up pace. 

More Venture Capialists

An increasing number of institutional venture capital funds have been entering the market recently. There has also been a handful of private equity funds looking to invest in early-stage companies (at Series B stage), which would only typically get involved when a company is more mature.  

UK venture capital has been and continues to be at the forefront of providing financing to some of the world’s most innovative companies, including Transferwise, Revolut, Deliveroo, Monzo and Citymapper to name a few.

Growth Areas

Whilst FinTech continues to be the feather in London’s cap, big data, AI, and cryptocurrency are marked as significant growth areas for new companies in London, also the burgeoning Regtech sector.  

Alec Smith, an Associate at Orrick states that, many competitors to the traditional banking sector are also entering the Fintech market. That, combined with increasing governmental scrutiny on financial institutions, has led to an increase in financial regulations, and therefore an increase in technology is active in this area.

Still to Come

Disruption in the travel sector is likely to inspire more start-ups. There have been big moves in the virtual and augmented reality space to enhance tourism, and crowd control technology is also coming to fruition.

There is a clear focus on the environment and how technology can improve how we treat our planet – think pooling of driverless cars, robot jellyfish, and technology that can detect wildfires in remote areas. 

Recent IPOs such as that of Uber, have demonstrated how much a venture capital fund can gain from investing in a technology company in its early stages. These funds are continually on the lookout for new and promising companies. It’s a really exciting time in this sphere and a fantastic opportunity for VC lawyers to get involved in some exciting work in the City. 

London is the land of opportunity for Venture Capital lawyers: Here’s Why! 
Does a career as a venture capital lawyer sound appealing to you? If you have ever thought about a move to London or are based in the City and would like to progress your career in this area, there has never been a better time to explore your options. Get in touch for a no-obligation discussion regarding the next steps in your career: 

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building on the new.”
– Socrates (470-399 BC), Philosopher